The 36th Bde Day…. Some thoughts and resolutions II

I was writing about Bde Day-2011 and what I learnt from it. However, I had just managed to describe what all happened on the day, and was yet to weigh in on what it all signified but ran out of time. That was good, because the last act was yet to be performed.

I had just reached last night (or technically early this morning, given it was well after midnight), when I checked my telephone and found a text message, just short of midnight – from one of the significant three, whose wishes had not come.  So now that was complete – one on the next day, one seeming unaware despite contact on that same day, and one just in time on the fourth day following.

In all, it made around 109 wishes on my day – however, these include family and some online groups and applications I am a part of, which leaves around 100 odd. This is despite my friend list – at that point in time – standing at about 346. Even with allowances for some who are mere acquaintances, and some who might not be regular users, and thus removing over half of the total complement, there remained a gap of almost 50 — and this I discovered to my dismay, included several I had thought close enough – old schoolmates, old colleagues and so on.

Another point was the media. It is not my intention to belittle, but out of all, there happened to be just four who called and eight who texted (including family), despite many of those being those who I had myself directly called on their days. A handful used the chat function, a few (less than….. but let it be. The data can be broken down in various ways, but I do not want to get mired in all this.

I thank all (and I have singly and jointly conveyed my appreciation) who wished me – through whatever form they chose, and whenever they did, though, it goes without saying, wishes on the day itself rank the highest and as the interval increases, the ….. but again this is a road down which I deem it wise not to venture. I am sure the ones proffering belated wishes had their own problems and compulsions…. I just wish they look at it from the other viewpoint too.

But the main issue is over those absent from the list and there are many whose absence was most painful, including some who had remembered last year and/or were the recipients themselves this year too.

And the worse was the only person in close proximity on that day itself, who with gall remarkable, chose to remain oblivious. In  light of this action, the response of others at the workplace – who could not have been expected to have a clue, was insignificant. However, even this raises serious concerns and suitable action has already been contemplated. For policy reasons as well as concerns of security, I will not mention it here in black and white, but it entails countervailing action, at the least.

The basic question that rises is what was the reason behind all this – excusable oversight, deliberate discourtesy or a crude signalling of intentions. However, whatever it turns out to be, it is certainly not capable of being ignored.

That brings us to what follows – an identification of the reasons, what measures need be taken and more importantly, what should be the future course of action, including but not limited to, as regards these individuals, who not only seem to shun basic courtesy but cannot be trusted to reciprocate.

It is human nature – of the most debased sort.  Gratitude, which may be expected to fuel a certain respect and observance, merely survives on expectation of favours yet to come, and if the calculation matrix is bereft of it, the state of affairs I have underlined, inevitably follow.

Well, even more important that deciding the course of action to follow in respect of this recalcitrant rabble, it also seems important to review policy, that has led to the debacle. It has been long pointed out by the Control Commission that I have been remiss in power projection, had overextended lines of communication, failed to keep secure high ground and leverage the position, suffer a deterioration of deterrence capability, deal with “salami” tactics as well as committing a host of other strategic mistakes. I acknowledge the validity of the criticism.

Remedial action will be taken on these points on an urgent basis, but what also remains to be done is to exhibit a salutary lesson to the “recalcitrant rabble”.

Mere disdain or a disinclination to contact or insistence on reciprocity with the attendant penalties will not do alone, nor will polite notes of protest or appeals to better sides, since they have demonstrated, beyond reasonable doubt, they have none. No , the only course is …. well, you don’t expect me to spell it out here.


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